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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/pete-your-divorce-decree-should-identify-what-11503027.aspx

Subject:  Re: alimony/spousal support Date:  11/10/1999  7:35 PM
Author:  ptheland Number:  20886 of 121565

Pete:
Your divorce decree should identify what exactly he is paying to you - alimony or CS.

foolishtomtom:
...or both alimony and child support.

That's the one that drives tax preparers nuts. When a divorce decree just lumps it all together and calls it "family support" the facts become unclear. How much is for the spouse (deductible to the payer, income to the receipient) and how much is child support (not deductible to the payer, not income to the receipient)? You've got to look at the rest of the decree, and make some interpretations. The ex spouses' interpretations will likely (always?) differ. Our big Uncle could have yet another opinion. Now you've got a question of fact to take to another court!

If at all possible, get the judge to specify the amounts for child support and alimony (spousal support) separately. This will make the facts considerably clearer. Keep in mind, however, that this is another situation where the tax considerations should color your decision and not make the decision.

--ptheland
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